17 March 2016
The investment in transport in the north, announced in the Budget, must be integrated into the UK’s existing transport infrastructure to ensure seamless journey opportunities for passengers, according to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Sahar Danesh, IET Principal Policy Advisor for Transport, said: “The investment in regional transport schemes will be welcome news for the local communities they serve.
“The proposed Manchester-Sheffield expressway under the Pennines will help to ease pressure on the M62, speed up travel across the south Pennines and reduce journey times between West Yorkshire and Manchester. The proposed HS3 railway could operate in the same way as Crossrail, providing a high-speed, high-capacity rail link that will increase connectivity between towns and cities on each side of the Pennines.
“However, a crucial factor to the success and longevity of these new transport schemes will be making sure that they are not developed as standalone projects – but take into account our existing road, rail and air travel networks. Only by doing this will they deliver widespread travel benefits for passengers across the UK.
“The availability of engineers to deliver these projects on time and on budget will also be a major challenge as companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit the people they need. The gap between demand and supply of engineers is only going to get worse as these major projects move a step closer to reality, so it’s important that the Government supports industry and educational institutions in developing the engineering talent pool in the UK.”